Island Campus

Learn more about student life at the Shoals Marine Laboratory by viewing The Appledore Island Handbook below!



Kiggins Commons

interior common space Completed in 1974, the Kiggins Commons houses Shoals Marine Laboratory’s main kitchen and dining area. The Appledore Store is located on the first floor. The spacious dining area also serves as a common space for study, lectures, and evening socializing. The Water Conservation Building (public restrooms with composting toilets) is adjacent. The ground-level floor houses a laboratory with indoor and outdoor seatables. The Commons back porch serves as a loading dock for the kitchen and the front deck is a favorite gathering place with a magnificent view of the north part of Appledore and the mainland to north and west.



students in lab

Palmer-Kinne Laboratory is SML's largest teaching laboratory, with space for as many as 60 students simultaneously. Each student has about a meter of bench space for books, notes, specimens, tools, and optical equipment. The lab is equipped with a variety of scientific sampling equipment, and two large sea tables supply running seawater for housing marine organisms. Laboratory space for SML interns is located in the Kiggins Commons lab. Laboratory space for smaller groups with an option for flowing seawater exists in the Grass Foundation Laboratory. Combination classroom/lab space also exists in Laighton House. More about SML laboratories...


Dormitoriesinterior view of dormitory

Each of SML’s three dorms has washrooms and 10 double-occupancy rooms (20 person capacity). Their location is convenient to the Commons, laboratories, and classrooms. Students are also housed in quad-occupancy rooms on the first and second floors of Founders Hall.


Classroomschildren on Appledore

Most teaching at SML occurs out in the field! However, classrooms do exist on Appledore Island. The first floor of Hamilton House is SML’s largest classroom.  Three classrooms in Laighton can accommodate classes of 20 or fewer students each.


WaterfrontResearch Vessels the Jack Kingsbury and Gulf Challenger

The southwest side of the island (leeward) is the laboratory's working waterfront. The floating dock is the main hub of activity to/from the island. With permission and supervision, students are allowed to swim in the Great Tidepool and from the floating dock during designated "swim calls." More about SML's research vessels...


Island Office & Infirmary

Located on the second floor of Hamilton House, the island office serves as the logistics hub of the marine lab. The island infirmary is well-equipped with health/medical supplies. All island staff receive First Aid, CPR, AED, and oxygen administration training.



Shoals Marine Laboratory maintains numerous engineering related buildings for energy production, drinking water treatment, and facilities maintenance on Appledore Island.  Plan a trip to Appledore this summer!  We’d love to show you the “behind the scenes” infrastructure needed to operate our seasonal field station. Read more about sustainability inititatives on Appledore...